In an ideal world, every mystery shopper would be able to pick and choose assignments on job boards and would then be able to complete those assignments as scheduled. However, regardless of whether you pick assignments a week ahead of time, a day ahead of time, or even just a few hours ahead of time, you may find that life sometimes just has different things in mind for you. Sometimes you get sick, your kids get sick, you have to work late at your “day job,” your car breaks down, or something else entirely.
In some cases, you can call ahead to your provider and let them know that you just cannot do the assignment after all. Some providers are pretty easy-going and understanding about these types of situations. Yet other times there is not enough notice to call your provider, or perhaps the assignment needs to be completed in the evening or over a weekend when you cannot reach your scheduler. During these times, you may be considering getting a fill-in for your assignment.
The Legal Considerations. The fact is that before you do get a fill-in to do the job for you, you may want to ensure that you won’t run into any legal issues. Each provider has a different set of guidelines and legal jargon that you agreed to when you signed up to work for them, and some strictly forbid you from having someone else do the job for you. Will they come after you and sue if they learn you had your friend or spouse fill in for you? Most likely not, but you can get reprimanded and possibly risk losing pay or the ability to work with this company again.
Finding Someone For the Job. If you have weighed the pros and cons of finding a fill-in and feel that you just have no other choice given the circumstances, your next task will be to find a fill-in. Hopefully you have a friend or family member who also is a mystery shopper, as it is far better to have a trained mystery shopper fill in for you than to send someone new to the job in at the last minute and without preparation. If you don’t have a fill-in that you can call on for help, your only other option would be face the consequences that come with not being able to do the job.
Understanding the Pressure. The fact is that it really is unethical to say the least to have someone else complete your assignment for you, and if you feel that you have no other choice but to call a fill-in, you may need to take a closer look at why you feel this way. Some mystery shopping providers are really unpleasant and even difficult to work with. If you find that your own pressure stems from how you may think that provider may react to your current circumstances and your failure to do the assignment, it may be time to find someone else to work with. While you no doubt would not get paid for not completing an assignment, there are some providers out there who will cut you some slack for the occasional unforeseen circumstance, provided you don’t have a history of canceling assignments.
In the heat of a stressful moment, the option to find a fill-in is something you can consider at your discretion. However, you should understand the risks of using a fill-in, and you should also consider why you feel the need to have a fill-in, too.